Voters re-elected Republican Governor Paul LePage with 48 percent of the vote and and handed Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud his first defeat in a 34-year political career.
The race for Michaud's open seat went to Republican Bruce Poliquin, turning the 2nd Congressional District red for the first time in 20 years.
"I think there is a message there," said Sen. Roger Katz, State Senate Assistant Minority Leader. "People want a more conservative direction to government. They are more concerned with the economy and jobs than they are with social programs and welfare."
Democrats suffered painful losses in the State Legislature as well.
Republicans picked up six senate seats, giving them control, and while Democrats still have a majority in the house, the margin has gotten smaller.
"I think what happened last night is Republicans had a better message that connected to voters," reflected Sen. Justin Alfond (D) Senate President. "We have to look in the mirror as Democrats and say why is our message not connecting to voters?"
He says it's clear that Democrats will now have to negotiate on Republican priorities like welfare reform.
"When we disagree now with Governor LePage, we can't just say no. We have to say how can we can make it better?' said Alfond.
University of Southern Maine political science professor Ron Schmidt says Democrats will also have to take a closer look at who didn't vote on Tuesday.
"It may be that younger voters who support President Obama, the so-called Millennials, are not excited about the party as whole," said Schmidt.
He says Democrats will have to work to re-energize their base if they hope to regain lost ground in 2016.